This is one in a series of vignettes based on the Nursing Home Behaviour Problem Scale (NHBPS), which is used to measure agitation in people who live with dementia. The vignettes are told from the point of view and in the voice of a fictional character called Annie, a woman in her mid-eighties who lives with dementia of the Alzheimer’ type in the mid- to later-stages of the disease. Annie resides in a long-term care facility somewhere in Canada. This vignette is called “please remain seated for the rest of your life.” There’s a link to all the vignettes at the end of the post.
please remain seated for the rest of your life
I’ve been sitting in this chair for hours. For days. For weeks. For months. Maybe I’ve been sitting in this chair for years; I don’t know. Why does that old lady in the wheelchair keep moaning? Is she sick? Why doesn’t someone help her? Why am I here? It’s so noisy. Beep. Beep. Beep. I want to go home. What is that beep, beep, beep? It makes me nervous, all that beeping in my ear.
I’m tired of sitting in this chair with no one to talk to and nothing to do. People walk by me to and fro. What are they so busy doing? I’m busy too. I have things to do. I have places to go. I’ve got to get out of here. I’m going to stand up. My legs are a bit rubbery, but it feels good to stand. I want to stand. It feels good. Oh dear. What’s that buzzing? And more beeping. Louder beeping. Louder and louder.
“Annie!” A voice scolds me. Suddenly, there’s a hand on my shoulder. It pushes me back into the chair. I sink and sit. My bottom makes a little thump.
“Sit down, Annie! You’re not allowed to stand up,” the voice says. I try to get up again. The hand holds me down where I am. It stays on my shoulder. A face leans into mine. Close.
“You’re not allowed to get up, my love. You’re not allowed. You might fall down and hurt yourself.”
I’m not afraid of hurting myself. I sit in this chair for hours. I cross my legs. I uncross my legs. I pick the polish off my fingernails. People walk by. To and fro. To and fro. They have somewhere to go. I want to go too. Let me go.
- “Fidgets, is unable to sit still, restless” is #9 on the NHBPS
- Click here for more vignettes.
- Take a three-minute survey to see how you might behave under similar circumstances here.
- Subscribe to my free updates here.
© Susan Macaulay / MyAlzheimersStory.com 2016
Image copyright: imageegami / 123RF Stock Photo